1.5K Floating US Partiers Accidentally Invade Canada

The Canadians had to rescue hundreds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2016 2:47 AM CDT
Updated Aug 23, 2016 5:44 AM CDT
Canada Rescues Hundreds of Floating American Revelers
A Customs and Border Protection boat helps floaters during Float Down on the St. Clair River in Port Huron, Mich., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016.    (Mark R. Rummel/The Times Herald via AP)

It was one of the strangest invasions in Canadian history: An armada of around 1,500 partying Americans on inner tubes and plastic rafts ended up in Canada after strong winds swept them from the Michigan side to the Ontario side of the St. Clair River during an annual rafting event Sunday, reports Reuters. Cops and the Canadian Coast Guard had to rescue hundreds whose rafts had deflated—and talk some of them out of trying to swim all the way back to the US. "They were terrified of entering another country without documentation. No one carries their passport or any ID, and a lot were drinking alcohol," Coast Guard search and rescue chief Peter Garapick tells the CBC.

Authorities in Sarnia, Ontario, say this year's weather conditions made it impossible for people taking part in the Port Huron Float Down event to paddle back to the US, reports the Blackburn News. "The people who take part in this are not mariners," Garapick says. "They don't look at the wind, the weather and the waves. We knew from the get-go, the winds were going to cause a problem." No major injuries were reported, and after the rescue, Sarnia Transit buses made 20 trips to bring all the Americans home. "You've shown us true kindness and what it means to be amazing neighbors," organizers wrote on the event's Facebook page. (Last month, two young Canadians playing Pokemon Go accidentally ended up in Montana.)

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